Happiness researcher Meik Wiking’s The Art of Making Memories (2019) observes that the Danes are famously happy despite “horrific weather and some of the highest tax returns in the world” because they take time to savor life’s little pleasures. It’s part of Hygge (pronounced “hue-guh,”) the Danish wellness mindset that encourages a spirit of contentedness.
When life gets busy, it’s way too easy to rush through the motions without paying attention to little experiences. Our lives ultimately consist of these tiny movements, one after the other. Fresh sheets. The smell of wet earth after rain. An old favorite song at the right moment. The kindness of a stranger. We take these gifts for granted and brush by them without really breathing in their grace.
Wiking suggests that you can truly rejoice in life by training your brain to focus on the positive in your day-to-day experiences. At the end of each month, reflect on the past month by celebrating the “Happy 10.” Look through the photos on your phone, choose your favorite ten memories, put them in an album or journal, and think about why you enjoy them.
Idea for Impact: Happiness isn’t determined by circumstances. Happiness is what happens when you decide to relish joy.
Savor the beauty and richness of simple pleasures. Take a moment at the end of each day/week/month/year to appreciate what you’re grateful for.